11 February, 2021

Governing large-scale carbon dioxide removal: are we ready? - an update

Because of the international community’s delay in cutting carbon emissions, some degree of reliance on carbon dioxide removal options is now inevitable to achieve the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal.

This report seeks to answer questions regarding implementation of carbon dioxide removal options at scale.

Can the sustainability challenges, risks and trade-offs inherent in large-scale carbon dioxide removal efforts be managed? What governance tools would need to be in place to deploy carbon dioxide removal options at the levels the IPCC says are needed? Can provisions under the current climate change regime support implementation at scale, or will further provisions and incentives be needed?

The top-line finding is that while a number of reporting rules and accounting practices are already in place with direct applicability to the implementation of carbon dioxide removal options, many governance gaps remain.

The scale of the carbon dioxide removal governance challenge is daunting. The good news, however, is that many of the governance systems needed to support the necessary acceleration in emission reductions under the Paris Agreement will also take us a good way toward filling the gaps needed to govern large-scale carbon dioxide removal. Addressing large-scale carbon dioxide removal and reducing global emissions cannot be seen as separate activities; they are intimately related, both are needed and their governance goes hand in hand.

Pine plantations are often used as afforestation

Governing large-scale carbon dioxide removal: Are we ready?

2019 report

Read 2019 report